It wasn’t until I was in college, taking a class in children’s literature (OK, it was supposed to be easy, but it had tons of reading), that I read Ursula K. LeGuin’s classic book, A Wizard of Earthsea. It’s an incredible tale filled with Jungian overtones as well as a great version ofÂ Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey.” It presents a concept that a lot of magickal people have taken to heart: if you know a person or thing’s true name, you can use that name to have power over that person or thing. This, of course, became part of the background of the Harry Potter stories, as well as in other tales.
In certain aspects of real magick this is partially true. For example, in dealing with non-physical spirits, you have to know exactly who you are working with. That doesn’t mean you have power over them, only that by addressing them correctly, and if you know appropriate rites and rituals, they will follow those instructions. This may seem like a deep, inner secret, but to me it’s always been kind of obvious. After all, if I call out, “Hey Johnnie, come here!” and your name’s Sam, you’re going to ignore me. If non-physical entities have (or behave as if) they have consciousness, why should they act any differently?
Words can have amazing power. They can move hearts and change minds. They can drive people into a frenzy. Their power, if used properly, can change behaviors, change attitudes, change beliefs, and even change the functioning of your body.
This is especially true during times of crisis. Years ago, when I was living in Minnesota, my girlfriend, whom I’ll call “Ruby Mathers,” awoke in the middle of the night. Ruby had desperation and terror in her eyes. She was wheezing heavily and having trouble drawing a breath. It was either an acute asthma attack or a serious allergy attack. She didn’t have any drugs in the apartment.
I took charge. “Look in my eyes!” I commanded. I knew she was getting enough air, she just felt like she wasn’t, resulting in fear that made things worse. I stared firmly into her eyes.
“You’re getting plenty of air,” I said, “even if you think you’re not. Do you understand?” She nodded. “Good. Now here’s what I want you to do. Imagine that you’re on a beach at the ocean.” Ruby was a powerful magician and great at visualization. I could see by the look in her eyes that she was doing the work. “Good. Now with each cool breath, even if it’s very tiny, know that you’re getting more than enough oxygen.” Her shoulders began to drop and she relaxed a bit. “Good. Now close your eyes and imagine a bunch of streams in front of you. In this visualization you can see that they’re clogged and not running smoothly. Hold out your hands and send beams of unstoppable magickal energy to clean out the streams.” As she did this it was clear that her unconscious understood the metaphor. Her labored breathing began to ease.
“Life is returning to the sides of the streams. Birds are singing in the fresh air. Fish are swimming down the river. You can smell the clean air and each breath becomes slightly richer and fuller.” I continued in this way for about ten minutes. Her breathing returned to normal. She opened her eyes and told me that I had saved her life. “No,” I replied, I just directed you. You did the work.”
Did Ruby enter a state of hypnosis that allowed her to change her body’s responses? There had been no formal hypnotic “You are getting sleepy” induction. I didn’t do anything to induce a trance. All I did was make suggestions and she followed them.
The thing is, I could make suggestions to someone all day and even if they wanted to follow them they couldn’t do it. “Make the flow of saliva increase to your mouth,” is a suggestion, but it didn’t change anything, did it? The suggestions have to be given in the proper way. In this instance, there is a long visualization where you bite into a very juicy and sour lemon, and the saliva increases. I’ll be some of you had the flow of saliva increase just from those few words.
Back with Ruby I had been very fortunate. Although I had not begun an in-depth study of hypnosis, I did know enough about the concepts of suggestion to word them in a way so she would follow them.
Some people contend that what I did was hypnosis. I got her attention and then gave her suggestions which she followed. No formal induction was needed. Others say that we frequently go in and out of hypnotic trance, and the process of hypnotic induction involves knowing how to grab a person going into a natural trance and have them follow your instructions. Either could explain how I was able to work a form of powerful magick.
Still another concept is that by using the proper words in the proper way, they have the effect of hypnosis without needing to actually hypnotize someone. This is an approach followed in NLP (although some “NLPers” may debate that explanation). The vital thing to know is that words have power.
Some firefighters in France have been trained and are utilizing this skill. As they say in this article,Â â€śWe have known for a while that hypnosis works, it is not a placebo.â€ť But if you read the article, they are not doing lengthy inductions or even rapid or instant inductions. “It is not really pure hypnosis that is used…but ‘more like certain hypnotic techniques.’”Â They are simply using the power of words.
If you’re ready to learn about hypnosis that is as powerful as described, you can start with these books:
Click on any of the titles to learn more about them.
Words Have Power
The choice of words, as well as the tone, volume, pitch, etc. make a difference. They have power to change people. They have power in magick work. And they have power to harm. That simple put-down you slapped on someone years ago may still be affecting them, unconsciously, today. A simple joke may have changed a person’s lifeâ€¦for better or worse.
This doesn’t mean you should be terrified of saying anything. Rather, I’m just suggesting (no pun intended) that you should be aware of one of the biggest childhood lies:
Sticks and stones
May break my bones
But names can never
Yes, getting hit with a stick or stone may break a bone. If treated, that will heal. Being called a name, however, may invisibly hurt a person for the rest of their lives.
Be aware of what you’re saying and think before you say it.
Understanding the power of words is part of understanding magick.
And Speaking of Speakingâ€¦
On Wednesday, June 26, I’ll be interviewed on the Seasons of the Witch program with Raven and Stephanie Taylor-Grimassi. It’s absolutely free and will begin at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Raven and Stephanie have been friends of mine for a long time. Although I had studied a few books on Wicca and Witchcraft before meeting Raven, he was my first teacher on Wicca and Witchcraft back in the 1970s. We’ll have lots of stories to share. It’s going to be a lot of fun. You can listen in, for free, and ask questions. Here is the LINK.
My Next Worldwide Webinar
Make plans now to participate in my next webinar.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
12:00 p.m.â€“2:00 p.m. Easternâ€”â€”9:00 a.m.â€“11:00 a.m. Pacific
Topic:Â Tarot & Magic
When people first learn to work with the Tarot cards they usually do so in order to do fortune telling, give readings, or do divination. As they become more advanced, they may use them as keys to Kabalistic Pathworking. However, there is much more which can be done with the Tarot cards, including using them to make positive changes in your life: magick.
In this live webinar you will learn the nature of ritual and magick plus several of magickal techniques that work with the Tarot cards, including:
- Using the Tarot cards as talismans
- Using the Tarot with colored candles
- The amazing technique of â€śDancing the Tarotâ€ť
- Discovering how to use the Tarot as a synchronistic key to sex magick
Previous knowledge of the Tarot isÂ notÂ a prerequisite for this webinar. All you’ll need is your favorite standard Tarot deck and an open mind. This is perfect for Tarot beginners. It will also give people with some Tarot experience new approaches. For professional Tarot readers it will show how you can share magickal techniques with your clients and make your readings more memorable.
This is a LIVE event. You’ll be able to ask questions. You’ll hear me and see my slides live. This is designed for Pagans, ceremonial magicians, beginners, and long-time practitioners. It will also give ideas for professional Tarot readers to help bring their readings to a new level.
My qualifications to teach this webinar include that I:
Became a Certified Tarot Master through his studies with The Associated Readers Of Tarot
Became a Certified Tarot Grandmaster through the Tarot Certification Board.
Have taught classes in Tarot and given thousands of readings across the U.S.
In my previous webinar we had people participating from North and South America, from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Attendance is limited so click on this LINK and register today.